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    It's a good thing the air is finally starting to cool in Texas, considering electricity rates in Austin went up on October 1.

    According to NBC affiliate KXAN News, the rate increase comes out to about 7 percent, but Austin Energy says that this is a subtle increase, and after 18 years of no rate hikes, one that was long overdue. Still, the higher prices may not be the best electricity rates Austin residents can find.

    The city has been discussing a rate increase for years, and originally the utility asked for electricity rates to rise 12 percent. This, however, was amended to just a 7 percent increase – a good decision considering Texas residents are free to shop around for the best electricity rate and can switch if they like.

    Even with the increase, Austin Energy still offers some of the lowest rates in the state.

    "One of the things that the city council has asked us to set as a goal and meet is that our electric rates remain at the lower 50 percent among utilities in Texas and to achieve that, we can't have rate increases more than 2 percent a year moving forward," said spokesman Ed Clark.